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Americans Taking Advantage Of Ability To Watch TV On Their Own Schedules

Attention, please!

Among those who ever watch TV shows on their own schedule, over four in ten (43%) confirm having certain shows they make a priority to watch before anything else, as soon as they are available. 

  • Having such priorities or preferences is again more common among those under 40 (57% ages 18-29, 59% ages 30-39, 37% ages 40-54, 29% ages 55+) and among those with children under 18 in the household (49% with, 41% without).

For those with viewing priorities, the top factor in what they prioritize isn't a complicated one – it's simply those seen as "My favorite / most enjoyable" (81%).  Other notable, if less dominant, factors include "I can't wait to find out what happens next" (53%) and "It depends on how much time I have to watch" (42%), followed by "I don't want to get behind and risk plot points being spoiled" (37%) and "It depends on my mood" (34%).

  • Women are more likely to be motivated by a desire to find out what happens next (60% women, 46% men), while for men the decision is more dependent on their mood (40% men, 29% women).

Fewer than two in ten (18%) identified a desire to discuss the show with friends, family and/or coworkers as a factor influencing their viewing priorities.

Watch around the clock

Among those watching TV shows on their own schedules, over six in ten (62%) ever binge view.  Both new and old shows contribute to this, with half (50%) bingeing on older shows or past seasons of current shows and four in ten (40%) binging on current seasons of shows.

  • 18-39 year olds (78% ages 18-29, 73% ages 30-39) are more likely than those 40 and older (58% 40-54, 48% ages 55+) to binge view, with 40-54 year olds also more likely to do so than the 55+ set.
  • Those with children under 18 in the household are more likely than those without to binge view current seasons of shows (48% with, 37% without).

The choices between which shows to binge view is driven most by the type of show, with the majority of binge viewers (56%) saying this influences their likelihood to binge view a particular program.  Other strong factors are a desire to catch up to the "live" broadcast (44%) and the genre of the show (43%).  Few (13%) indicate that their choices are driven by the social aspect, such as watching marathons with friends and participating in "watercooler" conversations.

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